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Rail Operations Management Fundamentals
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Rail Operations Management Fundamentals

2-Day Training Course: THE Essential Overview of Rail’s Operational Environment. This course examines all aspects of rail operations to provide participants with a solid understanding & appreciation how operational requirements & goals affect & influence other rail disciplines, project outcomes & overall business performance

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Key Learning Objectives

  • Understand the over-arching principles of rail operations management
  • Appreciate aspects and challenges which are not widely known or well understood by managers
  • Gain insights into:
    • The movement and control of trains and the management of terminals
    • Network management – passenger and freight
    • The proper and optimal use of rail assets
    • The business and operating environment of a railway
    • Leadership, skill building and developing core competencies
    • The role and importance of safety and human factors
  • Appreciate the best practices for delivery of service at standards acceptable in the marketplace
  • Identify the technical elements of a railway from an operations perspective, including:
    • Track alignment, crossings, bridges
    • Train controls, signalling, telecommunications
    • Traction power, transit and passenger systems
    • Freight, passengers, facilities, yards and intermodal
  • Review train planning and performance management best practices

About the Course

This comprehensive course is designed to enhance participants’ understanding and confidence with rail operations management, with insights into all key aspects of the discipline.

Participants will be able to upgrade their knowledge of the general railway network, and how different parts of it interact and with particular reference to operations management, planning and train service requirements.

The development of a train service from commercial and other demands will be covered, along with processes and tools for planning the service.

The implications of infrastructure and resource planning to train operations will also be discussed, and the factors that impact timetable construction, implementation and alteration control during its operational period.

Participants will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the inter-relationships within the industry and with government, of railway infrastructure and traction types, and the methods of ensuring safe operation.

Who Will Benefit

  • Engineers who will improve their performance based on a better understanding of how rail operations can improve and influence their work
  • Those new to the rail environment
  • First line and mid-level managers having rail or station/terminal responsibility or positions in operating functions at the headquarters level
  • Consultants in operations analysis and rail engineering

A CPD Course

Use this course to help fulfil your Continuing Professional Development (CPD) educational requirements to retain your professional/chartered status. Contact your relevant association to learn how


“This course brought together a lot of knowledge I had but now will give me the ability to act more confidently in my role in contracts”
Contracts Specialist, Woodside

Terms & Conditions

To read the training course terms and conditions read more here

Course Outline

Introduction to the rail network and operations

  • The capacity of rail networks
  • The governing structures
  • Key stakeholders
  • Who’s who and their roles and responsibilities

Vehicle technologies

  • General characteristics
  • Propulsion
  • Braking
  • Coupling

Freight services

  • Carload
  • Bulk
  • Intermodal

Passenger services

  • Long distance intercity
  • Regional intercity
  • Suburban commuter
  • Urban rail transit

Infrastructure considerations

  • Track alignment characteristics
  • Basic track layouts and arrangements
  • Junctions
  • Terminals

Understanding the dynamics of train movement

  • Tractive effort
  • Resistances
  • Acceleration and deceleration
  • Running time calculation

Signalling and control

  • Train separation
  • Non-controlled operation
  • Time based control systems
  • Radio based occupancy control systems
  • Signal based fixed block control systems
  • Interlockings
  • Communications based train control systems

Demand analysis

  • Data requirements
  • Forecasting techniques
  • Modelling approaches

Service design

  • The need for resource planning in rail
  • Intermodal freight services
  • Bulk freight services
  • Single (loose) car freight services
  • Passenger timetabling
    > Controlling alterations during service periods
    > Infrastructure implications

Capacity analysis

  • Factors
  • Analytical methods
  • Simulation tools

Rolling stock management

  • Fleet sizing
  • Servicing
  • Storage and layover
  • Monitoring asset location and utilisation

Terminal operations – Passenger and freight

  • Passenger
  • Intermodal freight
  • Bulk freight
  • Maintenance/servicing/storage

Safety and security

  • System safety planning
  • Safety assessment
  • Security considerations
  • Emergency response

Labour requirements, management and human factors

  • Crew scheduling
  • Addressing quality of life issues
  • Human factors
  • Establishing a safety culture

Basic summary of cost and revenue forecasting and accounting

  • Basic accounting for operations managers
  • Return on assets
  • Implications of key financials – what you need to know to survive

Management and administration

  • Organisation structure
  • Performance metrics
  • External interfaces

Feature session
Comparing and contrasting rail operations practices around the world

This session will be a panel discussion providing commentary, analysis and critique of how rail operations compare and contrast each other around the world. It will feature two guest presenters representing European and Australian perspectives, joined by the course instructor, David Clarke

Conclusions and wrap-up

On-site & in-house training

Deliver this course how you want, where you want, when you want – and save up to 40%! 8+ employees seeking training on the same topic?

Talk to us about an on-site/in-house & customised solution.


Still have a question?

Sushil Kunwar
Training Consultant
+61 (0)2 9080 4395

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